Mesagne, in the center of Salento, rises along the ancient Via Appia romana and is one of the largest cities in the entire Apulia region (it includes 22 fractions).
There are important agricultural and commercial activities (grapes, olives, tobacco, etc.), which was once an important Messapian center (Messania), and necropolises were discovered in the historic center and on Via Castello.
The historic center of Mesagne has a characteristic (virtually unique) heart shape and it hosts numerous historical monuments and cultural interests, as the city is the one that, together with Ostuni, has both public and private buildings which best represent the style of the Baroque Puglia.
You can enter through via Marconi, which leads to the Municipal Villa (located right in front of the Castle), embellished by a monumental fountain.
Walking around the historic center you can see why Mesagne is considered one of the towns where baroque is best preserved.
There are beautiful palaces and old buildings such as the Castle behind the modern castle street where there are also many shops.
We suggest you to go to Orsini del Balzo square where you can admire the Orsini Palace which now hosts some offices.
There are also churches and beautiful baroque basilicas, including the church of Sant’Anna, which is not even 400 meters from the Orsini castle.
Along the historical center you can also see the remains of an ancient necropolis and some Messapic streets.
In short, it is a real walk in history.
Links for Guided Tours:
Phone: +39 0831 1623237 o send a sms to +39 3387186074 (or call after 18:00)
Built in Norman era by Roberto Guiscardo in 1062, it was destroyed by the Saracens in 1254, together with the village, and then rebuilt two years later.
Remodeled in the sixteenth century, it still retains a massive rectangular corner tower dating to the Norman era and a Renaissance loggia.
Since 1999 the Municipal Archaeological Museum Ugo Granafei has been opened.
In the museum are kept documents referring to the pre-Roman necropolis, a numismatic collection and finds from the private collection of Granafei.
CHURCH OF SANT’ANNA AND CHIESA MADRE (of all Saints)
Next to the castle there is the church of Sant’Anna, built between 1683 and 1699.
It is located in Orsini del Balzo square and its project is the work of the priest-architect Francesco Capodieci.
A remarkable building in Baroque style in Puglia, its construction involved some of the most important artists of all of Salento, including Cino di Lecce.
Inside, various canvases and papier statues are preserved and exhibited by local artisans.
Instead, continuing from Porta Grande, you arrive in Piazza III Novembre, where the Chiesa Madre is located: the Angevin church was rebuilt in 1653 by Francesco Capodieci and assumed baroque forms. Its peculiarity consists in the use of “carparo” and white stones for the construction of the beautiful baroque façade.
The effects of chiaroscuro created by the niches excavated among the parataste emphasize in particular the statues of St. Elliot, Santa Antea and Saint Corebo, city protectors.
It also hosts a precious 16th-century wooden crucifix, two canvases depicting the 18th-century Madonna del Carmine, and a Nativity, a sure hand by Gian Pietro Zullo, a Mesagneian painter lived between 1557 and 1619, a master of a Local pictorial tradition.
The interior is a Latin cross, very beautiful the polychrome marble altar and behind it the eighteenth-century choir stalls.
Numerous paintings and statues in papier-maché.